Introducing the Horticultural Advisory Committee

It’s the nature of gardens to change, with the seasons and with the years. You may not be able to see how much thought and planning goes into shaping these changes at the Marin Art & Garden Center, but we certainly hope you notice the results.

Keeping these 11-acre grounds consistently inviting, engaging, and enlightening is a challenge, and the MAGC Horticultural Advisory Committee (HAC) was recently established to provide horticultural guidance for the ongoing management of our gardens.

We are fortunate to have Richard G. Turner joining us as chair of the HAC. After receiving degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from the University of Michigan, Richard escaped to California where he could garden year round.

Richard Turner

He has spent most of his career working in the realm of public horticulture, as the first Executive Director of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in the mid-1990s, and serving as editor of Pacific Horticulture magazine from 1997 to 2012. Though now retired, he remains active in the public garden world as a horticultural consultant.


The HAC will meet every six months, and its team of professionals well versed in the world of public gardens offers a broad perspective from which to advise on the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of these gardens.

The members of the HAC:

Richard G Turner, Chair
Landscape design and horticulture consultant

Christopher Carmichael
Research Affiliate and Associate Director Emeritus
University of California Botanical Garden

Shelagh Fritz
Project Manager
Alcatraz Gardens

Richard Hayden
Garden Director
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden

Richard Kennedy, ASLA
Senior Principal
James Corner Field Operations

Matthew Stephens
Conservatory of Flowers and San Francisco Botanical Garden

Stewart Winchester
Horticulturist and instructor, Merritt College

Jeff Wright
Supervisor of Horticulture
Presidio Trust

MAGC board, staff, and volunteer representatives:

Dianna Blodgett
Propagation volunteer, Marin Master Gardeners

Kathleen Toney
Horticulture Committee Chair
Marin Garden Club

Thomas Perry
Retired nurseryman and MAGC trustee

Jessica Fairchild
Architect and MAGC trustee

Steven Schwager
Garden Manager
Marin Art & Garden Center

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center